07 Jan 2018

Essential Electrical Safety Tips for Winter

Winter can be a hazardous time for homes. This is especially true when it comes to electrical systems. You might think that heating appliances are the sole electrical hazard during winters, but that’s only one part of the story. The potential for danger is everywhere, and can be anything from a vacant house to downed wires from a storm. The problem could even be faulty Christmas lights!

The weather isn’t in your mitten-covered hands, but electrical safety during the winter months is. Here are some common sense electrical precautions to help keep your house and family safe.

Check the Condition of the Wiring

It’s always a good idea to periodically check how your wiring looks. Circuit breakers, sockets, and switches are well-worn. Any problem in the electrical panels could hamper the flow of electricity and cause a short circuit. Get them checked by a qualified electrician and take their advice to repair or replace them if they are outdated. You get your oil changed every 3,000 miles, and you need this same type of preventive maintenance for your electrical system.

Don’t Overload Existing Electrical Outlets

Power use increases during winters because of heating needs. However, that doesn’t mean to take things into your own hands. Only install extra electrical outlets using registered electricians. That way your existing sockets aren’t overburdened with multi-adaptor plugs or power strips. Also, central air units need to be check before sending 240V through the heat strips.

Unplug Non-Essentials When You Go For a Vacation

You might feel like going out of the door as fast as you can. But take a minute to pause and prepare a checklist of non-essential appliances you need to switch off and unplug. Maybe, the refrigerator and the burglar alarm can stay connected. This will not only save electricity but also give you  peace of mind.

Shield Your Appliances with Surge Protection

Power surges can quickly ruin the electronic devices in your home. They can be caused by thunderstorms, snow, ice, and more. Power lines toppled by trees and falling limbs can also send a surge across a neighborhood that’s enough to damage any electronics. A proactive surge protection solution will protect your appliances and save you from an electrical mishap. Surge protection will also give you a huge added benefit of replacement cost coverage.

Have a Plan

Despite your best preparations, things can still go wrong. Prepare a disaster plan that can kick in when there’s an emergency. Get a home protection plan that meets your electrical needs or schedule. The service you choose should also be available 24 x 7.

If you are interested in an extra layer of electrical safety for the winter season, request information and service with a simple online form.

27 Dec 2017

5 Tips to Find the Right Electrician

Are you in need of help with electrical repairs, a remodeling project, or upgrading your home with the latest technology? Knowing how to find the right electrician can be tricky. These five tips can help you find a trustworthy electrician that will get the job done right.

1. Check to be certain that they’re licensed, bonded, and insured

This is a key consideration when choosing an electrician.Home repairmen don’t have the proper certifications, licenses, and other qualifications necessary to ensure the job will be done right. And, if the company isn’t bonded and insured, you can be held liable for any accidents that may occur while they’re on the job. You don’t want just anyone playing around with your electrical system because fires start can start quickly.

2. Pay attention to reviews and recommendations

Personal recommendations from family, neighbors, or other acquaintances hold a lot of weight. You can see for yourself the job that was completed, and get honest feedback from someone you trust. Online review sites can also help you determine the type of work you can expect from the company.

3. Look for satisfaction guarantees and/or labor warranties on work performed

One of the easiest ways to find out whether a specific electrician is the right one for you to work with is to ask whether they back their work with satisfaction guarantees and/or labor warranties. These give you peace of mind that, even if the job isn’t completed to your standards or if something unexpectedly goes wrong, you’ll receive top-notch service until it’s fixed at no extra cost to you. CMC Electric guarantees all of their work for a lifetime period.

4. Make sure the company can perform any specialized labor you require

While electricians aren’t necessarily hard to find, knowing how to find the right electrician for your unique job can be another task altogether. Not all electricians have the skills or certifications necessary to tackle specialty projects. If your project requires complex electrical repairs, ask the contractor whether they have the specific skills needed to complete the task. A good example of this is not hiring a seasoned commercial electrician for your home electrical repairs.

5. Need a quick repair? Find a company that will schedule same- or next-day appointments

Electrical companies that have multiple locations and a larger workforce can usually accommodate same- or next-day appointments. This is a huge advantage to you, as a homeowner, if you have an emergency repair. A company that is willing to work with your schedule is a company that cares.

With these five tips in mind, knowing how to find the right electrician isn’t hard at all. Talk to the experts at CMC Electric today to speak to one of our friendly electricians in your area about your next job.

30 Sep 2017

Our Top Electrical Safety Tips for Your Kids

Do you want to find out the best ways to keep your kids safe from electrical harm? Kids run the most risk of getting hurt because of mismanaged electrical systems. Oftentimes the only reason they get hurt is from a lack of knowledge about the dangers of electricity. That’s why it’s so important to go over the risks it poses to them. At CMC Electric, be believe in safety before anything else. That’s why we put together this guide for making sure your kids are well informed about electrical dangers.

Power Outlets

Don’t Stick Fingers in Outlets

Never put your fingers or any other objects in power outlets or light bulb sockets. Doing so risks severe injury and even death in some cases. These ports are designed to power electronics, so when you touch them, they send that electricity into you. The only object that should go into a power outlet is a power cord, and the only thing that should go into a light bulb socket is a light bulb.

Don’t Put Too Heavy of a Load on a Single Outlet

Power outlets are only designed to handle up to a certain load amperage threshold. Be careful trying to power multiple high-power devices with one outlet, as it could cause overheating and shorting.

Power Cords

Don’t Yank on Power Cords

If you need to unplug something, be sure to pull out the plug by the head. Don’t yank on the power cable. If you do, you risk breaking the cord, bending the prongs, and damaging the outlet.

Keep Cords and Wires Away from Sources of Heat

If you leave wires near a heat source, it could result in the insulating layer over the wires to melt, leading to a short or fire.

Never Touch a Worn or Frayed Electrical Cable

A cable that has begun to come undone is a serious hazard. Touching exposed wire means risking getting shocked or worse from the exposed ends. If you see a frayed cable, let an adult know immediately.

Keep Cords away from Water

Water and electricity don’t mix. Make sure that when you’re dealing with power cables of all shapes and sizes, you keep them away from bodies of water, both large and small. Water anywhere near a cord poses a risk of shorting.

Water Dangers

Never Use Electronics If You’re Wet or near Water

If you’ve been in or near water recently, wait until you’ve dried off before handling any sort of electrical device or appliance. If water enters a device, it could cause it to short out, destroying it. Plus, if you’re in a pool or bathtub, you should never use electronics at the same time. Not only could water coming into contact with the electronics damage them, but it could cause bodily injury.

Keep Liquids Away from Electronics

In addition to keeping your electronics out of bodies of water, you should keep containers of water away from electronics and wiring. Electronics are especially vulnerable against water contact. If you spill liquid on your electrical devices, appliances, or wiring, it could lead to damage and shorting.

Keep Your Kids Safe with CMC Electric

Electrical safety is no joke. Take the time to learn what some common problem areas are in your home and see what you can do to improve them. Move your hair dryer away from the sink. Fix up that old, frayed cable behind the TV. Take the time to learn what electronics need to be treated with care to avoid injury or damage to the electronics. If you’re interested in improving your home electrical setup to make it safer, contact the experts at CMC Electric. We proudly provide dependable electrical services in Raleigh, Clayton, and Wilmington, NC that add an extra level of safety. If you’re interested, request service now to learn more.

18 Sep 2017

The Dangers of DIY Electrical Work

While taking a DIY approach to many projects at home can save you money and give you a hands-on approach to fixing your problems, you shouldn’t try to take on everything by yourself. If you’re thinking about starting on a DIY electrical project, there are more risks involved than you’d run into in a traditional DIY project.

Because electricity is such a dangerous thing to play with, a DIY electrical project could go wrong in several different ways. If you don’t have a good working knowledge of electrical tools and terminology, then you could inadvertently cause a lot of damage without even thinking about it.

Lack of Knowledge and Skills

The main danger in trying to do your own electrical work is that some of the biggest problems you could run into aren’t apparent ones. For instance, if you install the wrong amperage of breaker on a circuit that doesn’t match up, it could lead to problems later on. Working with a professional electrician means having someone on your side who knows what small details to look out for to ensure lasting success.

Risk of Injury & Death

Because electricity is so volatile and dangerous, it’s critical to know exactly what you’re doing when you’re working with it. It’s all too easy to run into a situation where you can end up seriously hurt if you aren’t being careful. All it takes is forgetting to turn off power or interacting with the wrong cable carelessly. Risks of coming into contact with electricity include both electrocution and death. When you hire a professional electrician, they’re trained to follow a very specific set of guidelines to ensure their safety as well as the safety of your home.

Losing Power

Another risk of DIY electrical work is that of losing power. This can happen as a result of a variety of different situations. It might only be forgetting to combine a connection during your project or accidentally removing wiring from something else without knowing it. Professional electricians are trained to be mindful of their surroundings and make sure everything works when they’re done. That means that you don’t have to worry about your electrical system being messed up afterward.

Insurance Won’t Cover DIY Electrical Problems

If your work is not done to code by a certified electrician and you run into an electrical fire, your insurance won’t cover you. That doubles down the level of risk in DIY by a lot. When you get your electrical work done with a professional, if anything happens, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing you’re covered. Why worry about the threat of accident the whole time you work?

Choose CMC Electrical for Your Electrical Work

While taking on a project yourself can be tempting, it shouldn’t come at great risk of injury. When you choose CMC Electric for your next project, we’ll make sure it gets done right the first time, no matter what it is. Our team of experts are fast, dependable, and friendly. If you need service, don’t risk doing the hard work yourself. Request service now and see the CMC difference.

08 Sep 2017

What Are Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs)?

Ground fault circuit interrupters — or GFCIs — are best thought of as miniature circuit breakers. They take the place of traditional outlets and are made to shut off power in the event of current irregularities, such as moisture getting into an outlet or skin contact at the point of connection. They are designed so that if they detect an irregularity in current, they can ensure that no shorting or physical damage occurs.

How & Where We Recommend Installing GFCIs

Because water is so conductive to electricity, the number one place you should install a GFCI is in any high-moisture area. These include:

  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Crawlspaces
  • Outdoor Outlets
  • Laundry Rooms
  • Utility Rooms
  • Boathouses

You should also consider installing GFCIs in places where outlets receive more interaction. Places like workshops where people frequently plug things in are given an added benefit by having the safety of a GFCI available. Installing a GFCI is as easy as installing a standard power outlet. All the hardware the system needs to perform as specified is included in the body of the device. You just need to turn off the power, wire it in, secure it, and you’re good to go.

The Dangers of Not Having Working GFCIs

While traditional outlets do a great job of providing power to your devices, they don’t come with any added safety net. Adding GFCIs to your space keeps both your health and your electrical system safe against issues. For instance, if you have wet hands and touch a metal connector while it’s still halfway in your outlet, you could wind up getting seriously shocked. Because of the way GFCIs are designed, they can detect the difference in power levels instantly and shut off within milliseconds, keeping you safe. This same logic applies to water getting into outlets — a situation that would normally result in a short.

How to Test Your GFCIs

Every GFCI has two buttons on its face. One is for resetting it, and the other is for testing it. The test button is designed to simulate what would happen if the GFCI came into contact with bad voltage. If the GFCI is functioning properly, the connections will all cut off immediately. You can check with a voltage meter or a multimeter to make sure that the power is cut. If the power keeps flowing, it indicates that your GFCI isn’t working and needs to be replaced.

How to Install New GFCIs or Replace Old Ones

Installing a GFCI is as easy as installing a traditional power outlet. Just turn off the power, remove the old outlet, wire the GFCI, and screw it in. If you want to easily replace all of your outlets with safer GFCI options or have an area in mind that you’d like to update to be safer, consider using CMC Electric. We provide professional, friendly electrical service to Raleigh, Clayton, and Wilmington, NC. We can tackle all of your GFCI needs. If you’re interested, simply request service from us now to get started.

01 Sep 2017

What’s Causing My Circuit Breaker to Buzz?

Is your circuit breaker buzzing? Are you wondering what’s causing it to make noise? Electrical components are supposed to run silently most of the time. So when they start making noises, it can be a sign that something is wrong. The only hard part in figuring out the source of the problem is that unless you know what to look for, it can be hard to pin down. With this guide from CMC Electric, you’ll have a better idea of what might be wrong with your system and what you can do to ensure it’s safe.

Light Buzzing

If you’re hearing a slight hum coming from your circuit breaker, don’t worry. That’s completely normal. Because of vibrations created by electrical currents, a slight hum is to be expected from electrical equipment like a breaker box. If the hum coming from it is louder than a normal operating volume, that could be a sign of greater trouble.

If you’re only hearing a minor hum coming from your circuit breaker, in most cases it means that everything is fine. If you continue to suspect there’s a problem, the best option to pursue is contacting your electrician to that they can check it out.

Medium Volume Buzzing

If the noise coming from your circuit breaker is louder than a low hum, it indicates a bigger problem. If you hear a noise that sounds like sizzling and you notice any kind of sparking, it’s indicative of loose wiring. Loose wiring is incredibly dangerous and poses risks of electrocution and fire. This kind of problem should only be handled by a professional.

It’s very important to make sure you get this kind of problem addressed as quickly as possible. That way, you can avoid all the hazards that a loose wire presents to your home. Hiring a professional electrician can take out the guesswork of trying to pin down the location of the problem and get your electrical system back to normal quickly.

Loud, Continuous Buzzing

A loud buzz often occurs when a circuit breaker has stopped working as intended. The loud noise coming from your breaker panel more often than not indicates that you have a bad circuit breaker. A circuit breaker can go bad because of either an overload or a short circuit. Buzzing from bad circuit breakers is important because it indicate that even though the breaker should have tripped, it didn’t because it had gone bad. That means that even though there could be an overload or a short on a circuit, there’s nothing preventing it from causing damage to your wiring, which could result in permanent electrical damage.

Calling a professional electrician is your best bet if you think your breaker is no longer working. They have special tools and training to safely remove and replace your nonfunctional breaker without risking your safety.

Let the Experts at CMC Electric Take a Look

No matter what’s causing your circuit breaker panel to make noise, one thing’s for certain: having a professional make sure that there are no problems is never a bad idea. At CMC Electric, we’ve been ensuring that our customers in Raleigh, Clayton, and Wilmington, NC are protected against every sort of electrical problem for years. No matter if you only want to find out what’s causing your breaker box to hum or you need to take care of another electric problem, CMC Electric is your trusted partner. Request service now to get started.

25 Aug 2017

Increase Home Value with 4 Electrical Projects

Are you thinking about selling your home? Getting your house ready to put on the market is a huge undertaking. To start, you have to make sure everything is in good working condition and presentable. On top of that, you have to consider home improvement to further increase the value it’ll fetch on the market. It can be hard to know exactly what to do to get the most return on your investment, but with these simple suggestions from CMC Electric, you can increase the appeal of your home easily.

Additions Generate Interest

While it can be hard to know exactly what to install in your home to get the best results, there are some good general rules follow. The most important among them is to be aware of current trends in the housing market.

Be aware that you are much more likely to entice any potential buyers if you add functionality to the home before the sale, That will make it feel modern and save the buyer on energy costs in the future, which is a big selling point. Some easy ways to help reduce energy costs are adding ceiling fans, dimmer switches, new thermostats, and new appliances.

Adding Ceiling fans

Adding ceiling fans to your home adds value in several ways. Firstly, having a fan can dramatically cut down on energy costs. Because fans circulate air around you, you’re not as likely to turn on the air conditioning as soon as it gets too warm or too cold for you. They also add a decorative element to whatever room you put them in, accenting the space.

Adding Dimmer Switches

While traditional light switches don’t make an impression on a potential buyer, dimmer switches can be a compelling reason to choose a home. Dimmer switches are easy to install and add a layer of versatility to any home. Being able to adjust the lighting level helps sell that your house provides multiple layers of comfort.

Updating Your Thermostat

Older thermostats waste energy because they’re set to either be on or off. It’s too easy to forget to turn your thermostat off in your morning rush. Newer thermostats offer options for custom scheduling so that you aren’t wasting energy keeping your home at a certain temperature when nobody’s there. There are several different options to play with. For an added bonus, consider a smart thermostat. Options like Nest and Ecobee thermostats are easy to set up and compatible with most software to give users the most options.

Updating Your Appliances

One of the easiest upgrades for your house is to update your old appliances. When buyers see modern appliances in your house, it adds an extra incentive for them to choose your property over the competition.

Don’t settle for DIY installation

If you’re planning on selling your home, you’re already on a tight deadline as it is. Taking the time to set up new electrical components in your home eats up time you might not have. That’s why you should choose the electrical experts at CMC Electric to install it for you. With our quick, reliable, and friendly service, we’ll help get your home equipped to sell in no time.

Get Started Today

Want help getting your house ready to sell with CMC Electric? Contact us today to see what a difference the right electrician makes.

15 Aug 2017

Why Ceiling Fan Installation Is Not a DIY Job

Ceiling fans are a great way to add style and function to your home. They provide extra light, airflow, and atmosphere to any room as soon as they’re installed. The only problem is that installing them by yourself often presents a serious challenge. When you install your next fan with CMC Electric, you can relax while we do the hard work.

Advantages of Installing a Ceiling Fan

Because they come in so many shapes, sizes, and styles ceiling fans offer a wide range of versatility to your home. In addition to simply directing airflow, ceiling fans offer the following to your home:

  • Lower Energy Costs – Direct airflow makes you feel cooler without using air conditioning. That means you won’t have to use as much power to stay comfortable.
  • The More You Have, the More You Save – While one fan can help cool down a single room, you still might require air conditioning in rooms without fans. But when you have multiple fans in your home, it can further reduce energy costs.
  • Increased Style – Ceiling fans come in a large number of styles to add an extra layer of personality to your home. Through choices like fan blade shape and wood or metal finish, your fan can truly make a statement.
  • Enhance Any Room – With a perfect combination of added light, decorative shape, and increased airflow, a ceiling fan is a simple way to bring any room together.
  • Year-Round Versatility – Fans make your home more comfortable no matter what time of the year it is. It’s not as well-known, but all fans have a reverse setting that lets them pull down warm air during the colder months.

Installing a Ceiling Fan Alone Is Hard

When you decide to install a ceiling fan by yourself, you’re taking on a very difficult project. Installing it alone is so much harder because:

  • You’re Working Against Gravity – Because fan installation requires attaching a fan to the ceiling, the entire time you’re trying to install it, you risk dropping it.
  • Balancing Act – Ceiling fans are big and awkward to hold onto while installing. Couple this with the fact that you’re already on a ladder and trying to manage wiring your fan, and you’ve got a disaster waiting to happen.
  • Falling Risk – Because you’re trying to balance so many things at once, you’re at a much greater risk of falling if anything goes wrong.
  • Wiring and Electrical Danger – If you haven’t wired anything before, it can be tricky — especially while you’re trying to keep yourself balanced.

Don’t Take on the Task Alone

Installing your ceiling fan alone poses several risks. That’s why getting your fan installed by a professional is a good idea. A professional installation lets you sit back and relax while an experienced professional does the hard work for you. Choosing the right installer can shave hours off of your installation time and ensure your fan gets installed right the first time.

Choose CMC Electric for Quality Installation

At CMC Electric, we believe that you shouldn’t have to struggle in order to experience the benefits of a ceiling fan. When you contact us for your fan installation, we’ll come up with a plan to meet your specific needs. After that, our fast, friendly expert electrician team will arrive at your home at the designated time and get your fan or fans installed the right way, fast.

Get Started Today

Interested in getting help with your ceiling fan installation? Contact us today to see what a difference the right electrician makes.

10 Aug 2017

Learn How to Bring Power to Your Shed with These Tips

Do you use your shed all the time? If so, you know how frustrating it can be to try and work in it after the sun goes down. Without a dedicated wiring option, you’re forced to either use flashlights or to use an extension cord to keep your workspace illuminated. And if you need to power tools, you have no choice but to rely on an extension cord.

Extension cords are not designed to provide long-term electrical power transfer from one place to another. If you’re trying to power all of your equipment on a single extension cord, you run the risk of wearing it out through all the combined strain you’re putting on it. That could result in electrical shorts over time.

Installing a dedicated electrical system in your shed gives you the option to work in it whenever you want without having to sacrifice. You’ll have full access to light and power for any equipment you want to use. This can be especially helpful during the winter when the sun goes down early. With this guide from CMC Electric, see how you can bring electricity to your shed.

How to Add Electricity to Your Shed

Plan Ahead

The most important step of adding power to your shed is having a clear plan of action in place for how you’re going to get the job done. Before you even get started, know where you want to install light fixtures and power outlets in your shed, where you want to lie your wiring from your home, where you want to connect it to your house, and what length of wire and pipe you’ll need. Having all of these factors in mind before you get started can save you a ton of time on your project and give you a direction to follow during your installation.

Run Conduit in a Trench

The first step in wiring your shed is laying the literal groundwork for your wiring. To begin with, you’ll need to dig a trench in which to lay the conduit you’ll run your wires through. Make sure to take into consideration where the wire will be meeting your house when you do this to avoid frustration later. If you don’t dig deep enough, you could wind up having to route the wiring into your basement ceiling. Digging a little deeper means only having to route it inside the wall at most, which is a much easier task.

Mount the Hardware

Once you’ve dug your hole, you need to make sure you’ve got the appropriate hardware to route it both at the shed and at the point of origin in your home. At your shed, you’ll want to feed the conduit out of the ground and into an LB, bending it at a 90 degree angle into an electrical box on the inside of the shed. You’ll install an LB and another electrical box in your basement or crawlspace as well where you’ll make the connections.

Pull & Connect Wires

Once you have all of your hardware mounted and your conduit pipe in place, it’s time to run the wire through it all. After you’ve removed the covers from both LBs, run your fish tape through one to the other. Use this to pull your wires from the end attached to your home to the shed. Make sure you have at least a white and a black wire running to your shed for one circuit with basic electrical functions. For additional circuits, you’ll need to run additional wires. Be sure to leave an additional 12 inches of wire from the metal box at the shed.

Install Outlets, Switches, Lighting, & Fixtures

With the hard part over, all that’s left to do is place the outlets, switches, and fixtures in your shed. Make sure to take high traffic areas in mind when deciding where you’ll want outlets. Having them near your workstations will save you both time and energy. The same goes for fixtures. If you have a workspace you frequent more than others, consider putting your light source there for best effect. When it comes to light switches, they’re best placed at either entryways or high-use areas. For instance, you wouldn’t locate the switch to your workstation light at the door because it would mean walking back and forth every time you needed to turn it on.

Powering Your Shed is Easy with CMC Electric

Getting your shed wired takes some hard work, but it has great rewards. Having a shed with dedicated electrical systems gives you far more use than relying on an extension cord. To get your shed powered easily, let CMC Electric set up the electrical system to your shed for you. We’ve been helping people in Raleigh, Clayton, and Wilmington, NC power their spaces for years. When you contact us, we’ll determine your exact needs and arrange the best way to get you started on your way to having a shed that helps you more than it hinders you. Request service now to get started.